Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the country’s borders will be closed to people who aren’t citizens or permanent residents in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
He said exceptions will be carved out for diplomats and people with family in the country.
The closure will not apply to trade and business flights, as well as those from the U.S., Mexico, the Carribean as well as Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
Airlines will also be receiving a formal order to ban all travellers presenting symptoms from bordering flights.
Trudeau said the government will also be launching a support program for people who cannot get back to Canada.
And starting Wednesday, only the Vancouver International Airport, Montréal–Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport and the Calgary International Airport will accept international flights.
“If you’re abroad, it’s time to come home,” Trudeau said, adding anyone who just came back from another country must self isolate.
Canadians are also asked to stay home as much as possible.
Latest on coronavirus around Canada
Two new cases in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is reporting two new presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of presumptive positives in the province to five.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health says the two new cases are in Halifax Regional Municipality and are related.
The patients include a male and female, both in their 50’s, who were in close contact with individuals who had recently travelled outside the country
Two other individuals in the household are now in self-isolation and are being tested while the affected individuals are in self-isolation and recovering at home.
41 cases of COVID-19 in Quebec
Health authorities say Quebec now has 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The province updated it’s tally today, and it says 1,834 people remain under investigation.
Both new cases announced this morning are in the Montreal area.
Another 2,577 people’s tests have come back negative.
More space for homeless requested
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness says Canada needs to create more emergency shelter spaces to protect the homeless population from COVID-19.
President Tim Richter says people who sleep in shelters and outside are at a higher risk, because they often have underlying medical conditions and respiratory issues.
They also live in congregated communities where people come and go, making it difficult to self-isolate.
He says an outbreak in a major homeless shelter would have a serious impact on the health system.
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness estimates as many as 35,000 people are homeless on any given night in Canada.
Tim Hortons moves to take out, drive thru and delivery only
Restaurant Brands International Inc. says it is asking Canadian Tim Hortons restaurant owners to provide take-out, drive-thru and delivery only in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The company says it is closing all dining room seating effective Tuesday. The closures will continue until future notice.
The change comes as governments across the country urge Canadians to engage in social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.
Restaurant Brands says if there are further instructions from public health officials it will take further steps.
With files from The Canadian Press